Eagles, Mountaineers off to winning start
Pacer Cuthbert Musoko's maiden List A five-for bowled Matabeleland Tuskers for 130, setting up a 31-run win for Mountaineers in their first match of the Pro50 Championship. Musoko's 5 for 19 off 8.4 overs helped Mountaineers defend a total of 161 with ease, after they had been left reeling by Tawanda Mupariwa's 6 for 52.
Tuskers began their chase of 162 solidly as the openers, Bonaparte Mujuru and Nkosana Mpofu, added 52. They collapsed quickly, however, going from 52 for 0 to 91 for 8, with Musoko, Tatenda Mupunga (2-33) and Shingi Masakadza (2-23) contributing to the slide. Mbekezeli Mabuza shepherded the score past 100 - a 34-run, ninth-wicket stand contributing to the team's cause - but the chase was too much for the tail-enders.
Mountaineers had had their own batting collapse, after being put in to bat, as Mupariwa cut through the line-up, taking five wickets to reduce the side to 57 for 5. They were lifted to 161 only through knocks from Hamilton Masakadza (46) and Roy Kaia. The batsmen added 41 for the sixth wicket, before Kaia shared in a 49-run stand for the ninth wicket en route to his 59 off 90 deliveries. Roy Kaia was the ninth wicket to fall and became Mupariwa's sixth wicket.
Fifties from Joylord Gumbie and Gary Chirimuuta, and a four-wicket haul from left-arm spinner Bright Mugochi set up a 67-run win for Mashonaland Eagles in their opening match of the Pro50 Championship against Mid West Rhinos.
Gumbi's 94-ball 80 powered the Eagles to a strong start as he shared partnerships worth 62 and 75 runs for the first and second wicket with Kudzai Maunze and Simbarashe Gupo respectively. After Gumbi fell, Chirimuuta consolidated, striking 68 off 60 balls with 10 fours, and contributed to a 72-run stand with Gupo to guide the side towards a strong total. Eagles lost quick wickets towards the end but were still able to post a competitive 265 for 7.
Despite the early loss of Tendai Maruma, Rhinos rebuilt through a 74-run partnership for the second wicket between Bothwell Chapungu and Tarisai Musakanda. Mugochi, however, got both batsmen and then effected a run-out to leave Rhinos at a wobbly 92 for 4. A fifth-wicket partnership of 53 between Nyasha Mayavo and captain Remembrance Nyathi provided some resistance but once the stand was broken, Eagles quickly wrapped up proceedings.